Having previously lied about his age to obtain a job, Bill Smith was drafted into the Army in 1944. Following basic training, the Army was made aware of the false information and Bill was released from duty. Two years later Bill rejoined the Army and by 1947 he was sent for duty in Pusan, Korea. On June 25, 1950, just when Bill was nearing the end of his tour, the North Koreans invaded the south, forcing Bill's time to be extended immediately. Six months later Bill was captured by the Chinese near Unsan, North Korea. Bill spent the next two and a half years in a Chinese POW camp before he was released in April, 1953.